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Pierre_de’ Loop's blog View Details
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Jul 11, 2015 @ 01:25 PM | 1,531 Views
It flies just like I hoped it would!
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Jul 09, 2015 @ 09:23 PM | 1,688 Views
Months ago I pulled a Bleriot-esque profile control line model from my father's garage. I'd made the airplane in high school, flown it a few times and forgotten about it. This past weekend I cleaned it off, fixed a few things, tested the engine and flew it at the local park - my first control line flight in more than 20 years. Next up will be the recently completed Pup.

I also finished my restoration of the Eastbourne last weekend and took it out for a few early morning flights. Like the Lil' Poke, the Eastbourne remains a favorite to fly.

Before getting back to the Aqua Star I've decided to build a Boxy Bipe from Bill Hannan plans. It ought to make a nice front yard flyer.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Jun 21, 2015 @ 09:27 PM | 1,536 Views
I flew the Lil' Poke earlier this evening and it is still a tremendously satisfying airplane to fly. The battery has to be placed a bit forward to compensate for the brushless motor's lower weight, but the overall flight characteristics remain phenomenal.

I have decided to replace the flying and landing wires on the Eastbourne. This will be the third set and after drilling out the second set I think it will be best to replace the blocks in the wings through which the wires pass. To do this properly, I'll have to strip the covering off the top of each wing. Fortunately, I have a pack of cream coverlite tucked away so recovering won't be an issue.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Jun 21, 2015 @ 09:35 AM | 1,523 Views
No progress to speak of on the Aqua Star, but the pleasant warm weather gave me chance to start painting the 1/2A Sopwith Pup. I also worked up a D size model rocket with parts from an Estes' designer's kit I received as a gift in middle school. The parts have been languishing in my father's garage for thirty years.

We also put successful first flights on the SemRoc Swift boost glider and Squadron Kites' Sopwith Camel kite this past week.

The Lil' Poke and Eastbourne Monoplane date back to 2004. Both airplanes have a substantial number of flying hours on them and I've decided to resurrect them for another flying season. The Lil' Poke was shelved when the brushed 280 motor stopped providing enough power to take off. Rather than replace it with another brushed motor, I'm installing a brushless motor. The Poke's brushed ESC was a C-10, which I'd coupled with device from FMA to adjust the cut off for lipo batteries. All that's been removed and replaced with a brushless ESC. Both airplanes have had their receivers swapped out for 2.4GHz versions for use with my current radio. The Eastbourne's receiver was a swanky FMA dual conversion M5.

I'll likely replace the flying and landing wires on the Eastbourne before putting it into the air.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | May 29, 2015 @ 02:40 PM | 2,100 Views
It's been a busy Spring at our house, but I'm back in the workshop and I've resumed building the Aqua Star.

I've also been outside to put a few coats of sanding sealer on the 1/2A Pup and another coat of dope on the Aqua Star fuselage. Painting the Pup is my next task.

The Brigidier had its maiden flight in this time, too. It floats like a dandelion seed with the .049 sounding like something flying 100 mph.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Feb 28, 2015 @ 10:48 PM | 3,111 Views
Still plugging away at the Aqua Star fuselage and tail feathers, removing weight where I can. I decided to use 1/64" birch ply for the windshield rather than the plastic provided in the kit believing the ply will be easier to seal. I also skipped the hatch at the front believing it was for the purpose of accessing radio batteries. As I'm converting this airplane to electric, the hatch looked like potential leaky spot I could avoid.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Feb 21, 2015 @ 10:35 PM | 4,088 Views
The SemRoc Swift boost glider is complete and the Herr Aqua Star build is underway.

I've read enough about the Aqua Star to know that not everyone has success getting it to ROW. I'm hopeful that lightweight electronics, a brushless motor, and a few of the tips I picked up reading about other folk's experience with this airplane will help get mine in the air.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Feb 11, 2015 @ 09:28 PM | 3,600 Views
Building on the success of my Quest Flat Cat, I'm completing a Semroc Swift Boost Glider.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Jan 18, 2015 @ 11:08 PM | 3,114 Views
I applied a coat of dope to the Brigidier’s recently completed wing this afternoon. As soon as I work out a way to secure the battery hatch at the bottom of the fuselage, I’ll finish that bit of work and put the airplane away until spring.

I’ve not weighed the airplane yet, but I suspect I’m a good place. The airplane balances per the plan, which I confess looks a bit rearward to me (behind the wing spar), but I’ll trust the plan and take some solace in the additional upfront weight that will come with the battery and few ounces of glowfuel in the tank.

UPDATE: I made a battery hatch with a sewn hindge and applied another coat of dope to the wing before testing the engine and radio configuration. The engine and throttle operated perfecty. No modification was needed for the placement of the fuel tank. The first flight will come in the spring...
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Jan 08, 2015 @ 09:51 PM | 3,270 Views
Cutting the wingtips and trailing edge has brought me closer to assembly, but I still have to notch the trailing edge for the ribs before I can begin gluing the parts together.

I used my balsa stripper to cut the trailing edge down to the correct size called for by the plan. I can't imagine trying to make a decent cut like that without it.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Jan 03, 2015 @ 07:47 PM | 2,628 Views
Work on the Brigidier was sidelined in June by a renewed interest in rubber powered free flight and profile control line. However, exactly a year after starting the airplane, I've resumed building and set my sites on having it in the air this spring. So far, I've cut my 20 wing ribs.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Nov 26, 2014 @ 11:14 AM | 3,038 Views
It's just about finished. I'd like to put another coat of paint on it, perhaps adding a red nosecone, but that will have to wait for warmer weather.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Oct 31, 2014 @ 09:26 AM | 3,243 Views
This is a thirty year old Estes Cyclone model rocket. The rocket was produced in 1983 but it didn't stay on the market very long. I built many model rockets in middle school, but this is the only one that didn't go missing. When I retrieved it from my parent’s garage all four fins had been broken off and hastily repaired many times. The plastic nose cone even had a crack in it – how did that happen? I believe it’s ripe for an overhaul.

The body tube in the picture looks pretty rough where the fins were removed, but it’s got a couple of coats of sanding sealer on it and its surprisingly smooth. I used plastic putty to repair the crack in the nose cone. I'll put a dab of sanding sealer on that spot too before I paint it as I recall the putty being porous even when it looks smooth. Pictured are the original fins, cut into a slightly different shape and sanded. I never liked the fins on the Cyclone so this was my chance to improve them. The motor mount is a split between old and new material. The metal hook and upper centering ring are from the original, but the engine mount tube and the lower centering ring are new, along with the centering tube between the two rings. This is something the original rocket didn't have, but I had the part on hand and felt it wouldn't hurt to use it. I've tied a Kevlar thread to the motor mount. Once more, this isn’t stock, but rather it will be set up like the Quest rocket kits; the Kevlar will be tied to an elastic chord that will have the parachute and nose cone on it.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Oct 16, 2014 @ 09:05 PM | 3,169 Views
I'll have to wait for a sunny day before I tackle the finishing work.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Oct 13, 2014 @ 10:39 PM | 3,440 Views
The tail feathers are on and the bell crank assembly is mounted and connected.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Oct 11, 2014 @ 05:13 PM | 3,197 Views
I used a Dremel tool to cut a grove in the engine mount like the old plastic mounts. The engine sits flush on the firewall with the landing gear sandwiched behind it.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Oct 10, 2014 @ 08:37 AM | 3,298 Views
Blind nuts are behind the firewall and the motor mount is ready for side sheeting. I'm pleasantly surprised by the strength and fit of the cabane struts.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Oct 05, 2014 @ 10:01 PM | 4,065 Views
Recalling how much I enjoyed Sterling Models' Beginner Kit series, I've decided to build a profile Pup along the same lines (ha, ha, ha). I haven't flown control line in more than 20 years, but I recall it being great fun.

Also pictured is a great little glider inspired by Bill Hannan's article, "Soda Jets - The Last Straw."
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Sep 07, 2014 @ 10:07 PM | 4,199 Views
This weekend's scrap balsa bounty.
Posted by Pierre_de’ Loop | Sep 03, 2014 @ 10:23 PM | 4,163 Views
This airplane flew best with a bit of clay on the tail so I dropped the Sig propeller and hanger and replaced it with an Easy Built propeller and thrust button. It's certainly balanced better...we shall see how it flies.